Thursday, May 25, 2017

Review for Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

4.5 Stars.Groundhog Day meets Mean Girls. Before I Fall was both hilarious in parts and painfully serious in others. I loved and hated this book at the same time. It was beautiful and utterly heartbreaking all at once. I loved watching Sam's journey. She's not the most likable character in the beginning, but her journey is incredible and her relationships with the people around her are what make this book worth reading.I found myself comparing my own high school experiences to those in this book, both the times where I'd dealt with people like Sam's mean-girl friend, Lindsay, and times when I'd done things like Lindsay. Sam's perspective was incredibly real and thought provoking.

As usual, Lauren Oliver's writing was beautiful. She easily paint's a picture with words and perfectly captures the viewpoints of teenage girls, including their flawed perceptions and ability to be cruel. Sam goes on a journey throughout this book where she learns to see things from other perspectives. She learns to question things and to do the right thing.

The ending, however, is heart-wrenching. There are some books where I feel sad at the end but overall justified that things worked out the way they were supposed to. I don't know if I feel that way about this book. <Spoiler> Maybe I'm just a sucker for happy endings, but it just seemed like this book didn't have to end with Sam's death. And, I actually felt a little like her death didn't really change anything. I wanted her death to have more meaning. Yes, she saves Juliet, but Lindsay is the same person and even if Juliet saw Sam give her life for her, what's to stop Juliet from trying to commit suicide tomorrow. I feel like if this book was going to end the way it did, then we should have gotten a scene from Juliet's POV to assure the reader that Sam's sacrifice made a difference. Otherwise, I don't see why both Sam and Juliet couldn't have lived. Mostly, I feel bad for Kent. He didn't deserve to lose her after all that. </Spoiler>